Author Archives: Reeve Conover

Finding that new Job Opportunity

Ellen Steverson is a Resume and Interview professional who has helped people worldwide get the job of their dreams. Periodically we will host one of her posts for those of you either searching for work, or hiring candidates.  She can be reached at http://www.getyouemployed.com.

  1. There are a few ways to use your network to find a new opportunity. The first is to contact specific people in your network — or your entire network — and let them know you are looking for ideas, information, advice, and contacts/referrals. Create a networking cover letter and send the letter with your résumé to each of the contacts in your network. This is the broadest way to use your network, and can be useful if you are currently unemployed and not worried about jeopardizing your current job by visibly pursuing a new one. Contact StartingBlock Career Services for more coaching techniques on how to use your network effectively.
  2. Your LinkedIn profile should align with your résumé, although the two should not be exactly the same. The work history listed in your profile should definitely match up with your résumé — this is an easy check for prospective employers to make. However, your profile should complement — not duplicate — your résumé.
  3. You should commit to keeping your new résumé updated. If you don’t already have one, start a “brag” file. This can be a file folder or a folder on your computer that you use to collect items for updating your résumé. This can include descriptions of projects (and quantifying accomplishments related to those projects in terms of numbers, percentages, and dollars), performance reviews, testimonials or letters of appreciation from customers, awards/honors, training certificates, publications you’ve contributed to, etc. And finally, put a note on your calendar for next year at this time to update your résumé with StartingBlock Career Services.

 

2019 ObamaCare Rate requests surfacing

Fox News in an article (click here) is reporting as follows:

Maryland insurers Carefirst, Kaiser, Blue Cross and Blue Shield are requesting an average 30 percent increase.  Some of the richer PPO plans have a 91% rate increase request.    Virginia is following suits with increases of up to 64%, although Anthem Healthkeepers is only requesting 6%.

 

These are the first two states to release information on pending increases;  all increases have to be approved by the State Insurance Departments.

Can you get my attention in 20 seconds?

I have a list of ten rules I have accumulated over the years from various sources, and the first of these is called “Friars Law.” Named after a local Marketing Professor here in Summerville, Jim Friar.  Jim has a lot of great sayings around marketing such as “You know what happens when you don’t do any marketing?  Nothing!”

Friars law is always having your elevator speech ready – I have met many entrepreneurs in both my business and with SCORE, who cannot describe what they do in less than 5 minutes! Since you get about 20 seconds to get (or lose) someones attention, you need to finally hone this down, in my mind, to perhaps 3 sentences.

Ask yourself “What do I make or do?,” “Who is my target market” and “How does this help my clients?” Now compact that into three sentences.  Or less.

If you are an IT guy/gal, it could be “We help businesses be as productive as possible, with a minimum of downtime, so they can focus on their customers.” If you are a bakery, it could be “XYZ Bakery goods will wow your family,  friends and clients with tasty quality cakes and cookies.  Why spend all those hours cooking (and then cleaning) your kitchen?”

In my case I am currently using “I am the business owners point man on everything they love- High Insurance Premiums, ObamaCare and Compliance issues.” If I can get a business owner to laugh, they get my point, and I have their attention.

Remember that everyone you meet has a ballcap that says “WIIFM” – whats in it for me. If you cannot tell them why they should be interested in you right now, you are just one more person they met.

ERISA requires a retirement plan committee

Great interview about retirement plan investment committee published ion Employee Benefit Advisor on 4/23/18.  For the full article click here.  For THE DOL “Meeting your fiduciary Responsibilities” PDF, click here.

Here are some excerpts:

EBA: What size employer or retirement plan requires a plan committee?

Clausen: Best practice is to have a committee regardless of plan size, because when the Department of Labor steps in for an audit, they want to know who is responsible for the plan’s administration and ensuring that it is in compliance with the plan document.”

EBA: You said minutes of a meeting are more important than taking notes. Why?

Clausen: It has to do with risk management. When you’re in a fiduciary capacity, notes are subject to court depositions. You can be deposed on those notes.

In minutes, you want to be succinct. You don’t want to be “gabby” or repeat what’s in the reports that are provided by your advisers or record keeper. You want to say, “Here’s the committee, who is in attendance and who is excused. We discussed these topics, made these decisions like a unanimous vote to replace the fund and why.” You want to be careful to make sure you’re not rambling.

During litigation, we find that statements can be made out of context and then be used by the litigators, which is why you don’t want to ramble.”

 

 

How can SCORE help you?

SCORE is the volunteer mentoring arm of the BA, and most areas of the country have a chapter.  This organization provides continuing education, support and assistance for Business owners – but most importantly is mentoring both new and existing businesses.  Statistics are clear that businesses that have a mentor have a much higher success rate.

I am proud to be a mentor for the Charleston Chapter, and its education director.  In our area alone, we provided direct assistance to more than 4000 people last year, and helped 327 new businesses get started, creating more than 400 non-owner jobs!  60% of clients nationally last year were women, 39% minorities, and 11% veterans.

If you are trying to start a business or know someone who is, simply go to the website at www.score.org and look around.  You will find a lot of support materials and videos, training, and you can sign up to get a mentor- at no charge.

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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